GRANT, Neb. – Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts helped cut the ribbon at Aurora Cooperatives’ new A-Stop 24 pump site in Grant Friday afternoon.
The event included a speech from the governor, root beer floats, cookies, Aurora Co-op giveaways and each driver who stopped by to fill their tanks with ethanol-blended, clean-burning gasoline got their first $10 covered by the cooperative.
The new pump site, which is located north of town on Highway 61, provides E10, E15, E30, E85 and diesel fuel around the clock. The E15 and up blends contain a higher-octane blend consisting of either 15, 30 or 85 percent ethanol, homegrown in southwest Nebraska.
With uncertainty around trade and commodity prices being depressed, Ricketts said the more Nebraskans use and promote ethanol, the more it’ll support the state’s farmers.
“When you’ve got higher blending pumps of ethanol, what that does is create a greater demand and market for ethanol,” Ricketts said. “About 40 percent of our corn crop goes into it, so it creates a demand for that corn. We heard from the (Nebraska) Corn Board that’s about five bushels if you fill (your vehicle) with 15 gallons. If we can do that all across the state with a lot of people, that will help support the prices for our corn.”
The new A-Stop location, which features three gas pumps and two diesel pumps, represents the $3.5 million investment the state, federal officials and private sector companies, including the Nebraska Corn Board, made to provide higher blends of ethanol available at 70 pumps in 19 different locations.
Vice President of Marketing Kevin Sagehorn said the new A-Stop 24 was a perfect location in Grant because of their large agronomy center and aerial division already located in Perkins County. When it came to higher blends of ethanol in the region, there weren’t a lot of options, according to Sagehorn.
“If we’re going to help raise great corn crop, we also are responsible from a cooperative standpoint to making sure they’ve got in-destination markets,” Sagehorn said. “And what’s better yet, is to take that in-destination market, a lot of it is ethanol, and then turn it into gasoline that they can use in their vehicles. It puts money in our owners’ pockets and as well as the local tax-base.”
Aurora Cooperative serves seven states, including Nebraska, Colorado and as far away as Maryland, and 18,000 members.
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